BWW Review: WAIT UNTIL DARK at Greenville Little Theatre
A good thriller is all about anticipation. Players are introduced. Plot pieces move into place. Connections and consequences unfold and build until an exciting feeling of dread, of exquisite anticipation, builds up inside as we await the climactic confrontation.
For Wait Until Dark, now playing at Greenville Little Theatre, that final confrontation, beautifully unspooled for us over the course of the evening, is a real humdinger.
Claire Clauson plays Susan, a newlywed still adjusting to the recent loss of her eyesight. She sometimes gets help from an annoying young upstairs neighbor (Camila Escobar) but mostly over-relies on her husband, Sam (Matthew Quattlebaum). After a recent trip, Sam came home with a doll that inadvertently ended up in his possession. But now a calculating con artist (Josh Wilson) wants the doll - and its hidden contents - back, and will do just about anything to get it. Will Susan get any help from the nosy detective (Evan Harris)? Will Sam's old Army buddy Mike (Brandon Alan Gaunt) protect her when she's alone? You'll just have to wait until dark to find out.
The play's underlying thread - that Susan has to learn how to find strength in her blindness - comes through beautifully, thanks to a winning performance from Claire Clauson and Allen McCalla's solid directing. The supporting actors, especially Harris and Gaunt, bring both warmth and menace to their roles, helping keep the audience uneasy, worried about who to trust. The evening also greatly benefits from Graham Shaffer's set and Cory Granner's lights.
In fact it's the complete absence of those lights that marks the high point of the evening. Some of the early scenes take a little too long to land and give us too much rushed exposition. But by the end, as we've grown to know these characters and have become invested in Susan's life and we wait until that inevitable darkness, the show is absolutely cracking. When the lights go out, you'll be on the edge of your seat.
Wait Until Dark runs through November 11 at Greenville Little Theatre in Greenville, SC. For tickets and showtimes call the box office at 864-233-6238 or visit greenvillelittletheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Wallace Krebs